Collaborative software should look to social networking: IDC

According to IDC, enterprises should take their cues from consumer social media tools when forming their internal collaboration strategies, as the way users currently connect online is too different from the way enterprise social software is structrured.

“Enterprise social software is also not meeting the complex collaboration needs of organisations and integrating a consumer alternative is too daunting,” said Vanessa Thompson, software analyst, IDC Australia.

IDC’s Forecast for Management Survey, 2011, shows that over the next 12 months, more than 24 per cent of IT decision-makers will deploy social media or collaboration-type applications via platforms that allow the business to build applications in-house.

“It’s understandable IT departments want to control application development because of integration and internal business process challenges but an internal focus limits the business value of the social web and the change in customer behaviour,” said Thompson.

According to IDC, with the attention on social and collaborative tools from a consumer perspective, Australian business and IT decision-makers need to be cognisant of the social customer, empowered employees and the technical capabilities of vendors’ enterprise social software solutions. Delivering business functions with embedded online social interactions will take some time for employees as well as IT decision-makers to fully embrace as keeping existing communication channels open and accessible will be equally as important.

“Australian organisations understand the value of social networking with more than 32 per cent having deployed social solutions for external collaboration. Connecting customers and partners online and in real time will become a necessity, especially to exploit competitive advantage,” said Thompson.

The recently published report, Social Business – What are your rules of engagement?, October 2011, outlines the current uptake of enterprise-grade social software in Australia and overlays the IDC social business maturity model to identify critical decision criteria for organisations approaching a social business initiative.


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